Guardian ad Litem for Children
Current and future attorneys can make a positive impact on the lives of children and families in our community. Accepting a court appointment as a GAL provides attorneys with the opportunity to practice in a new area of law, build their practice, and network with other attorneys, judges, and magistrates. Attorneys can serve as GAL pro bono; they can work for a small stipend paid by the county and state, or sometimes the parties are required to pay the GAL's fees at a reasonable and customary hourly rate.
Performing as a GAL provides the opportunity to serve an immediate community need, while gaining an understanding of the child welfare, juvenile justice, family law, and foster care systems. Continuing legal education is provided on an array of applicable topics, and GAL work opens the door to other areas of practice.
GALs are a growing network of good in Cuyahoga County, helping judges make important decisions by providing factual input concerning the child's life and best interest recomendations to the court.
GALs are appointed by the Juvenile Court to investigate the circumstances of children who are petitioned into the court system by the Dividsion of Children and Family Services, a county agency represented by the County Prosecutor. GALs make independent recommendations to the court for services and advocate fopr a permanent and safe home for every child within the shortest time possible.